Karlova Studanka is one of the most peaceful and relaxing spa towns in the Czech Republic.

Famous for its incredible spas, famous water, and cleanest air in central Europe Karlova Studanka is a perfect place to explore the outdoors, enjoy nature, and go for hikes.

The Bila Opava hike is a great trail to get out and explore while you’re visiting this quaint little Czech town. 

You won’t find mountains and crazy cliffs on the Bila Hora trail but what you’ll find instead are waterfalls and a beautiful creek, while enjoying some of the freshest air you’ll ever breathe.

There’s a reason people come to this little village of 200 people to relax and get away from the busy city life.

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Everything you need to know about the Bila Hora hike

The Bila Hora trail is a fantastic trail to explore while visiting the northeastern part of the Czech Republic.

Whether you’re here for the spa or just driving by it’s worth exploring the area and hiking the Bila Hora trail. Might as well take in the cleanest air in central Europe for a bit! 

The Bila Hora trail is really easy to follow and the hike itself is not that hard since there isn’t a whole lot of elevation. On a clear sunny day, you can enjoy the peacefulness of the forest and enjoy the waterfalls that you pass.

Stunning waterfall along the Bila Opava trail in the Czech Republic.

You can use this trail map to make sure you don’t get lost on Bila Hora but it is an in-and-out hike and, as we said, very easy to follow.

There are a few trails that go the same way but as long as you follow the yellow markings (and see waterfalls every once in a while) you’ll be fine. 

Another great thing about the Bila Hora hike is that you can leave your car at the parking lot that’s right at the trailhead. Very easy and convenient! 

Besides that, there’s nothing to worry about other than enjoying the clear air and taking in the beauty of this part of the Czech Republic.

It’s quite well-known in the Czech that the locals love the outdoors. When you see places like this you’ll understand exactly why they love the outdoors here so much.

Practical information about the Bila Opava hike

Distance: 7.1 km return / 4.41 miles return
Elevation: Roughly 317 m / 1040 ft. elevation gain
Type: In and Out trail
Length: 2-2.5 hours total (with some time for pictures)
Difficulty: Moderate (very family-friendly hike)
Rating: 4/5 

Click here to see a map of the beginning of the Bila Opava hike.

Starting at the Karlova Studanka parking lot

Karlova Studanka is a small but touristy town so there are a few different parking spots scattered around the place. If you use the trail map (linked above) you’ll see exactly which one to start at.

Even if you park at the wrong one though then it’ll only be a 5-6 minute walk since the town/village is very small. It’s basically just one street with a few spas and hotels!

You’ll know you’re at the right parking lot if, at the beginning of the hiking trail, you see a medium-sized waterfall (pictured in the image above). That marks the start of the Bila Opava hike and also the first of a few waterfalls you’ll see on this trail.

From there, you’re going to follow the “blue and yellow” trail to stay on the Bila Opava trail. It’s not hard to follow but you want to make sure you go in the right direction from the start so you don’t get lost.

Facing the waterfall, the trail starts on your left-hand side!

The first little stretch after the waterfall is a little boring since you’ll be walking on a quiet country road for about 5 minutes. But as soon as that stretch is done with, it’ll be beautiful!

Continuing through the forest to Bila Opava Waterfall

Once you’re off the road, the hike really starts to get fun. If you’re doing this early in the morning before going to the spa in Karlova Studanka you’re in for a real treat. The mornings tend to be quieter and the spa afterwards will feel very rewarding.

You’ll notice that the air here feels super fresh! It feels so good to be out between the trees walking next to a creek out here just breathing in the fresh air.

Along the way, you’ll cross a few bridges and if you get creative you can get some awesome pictures with them. There are also sections where the stream cascades and looks like a miniature waterfall. 

All the way to the final waterfall on Bila Opava

A group of people crossing a bridge in the Czech countryside!

There aren’t many directions you need to follow on this trail so it really is just about going straight shot to the final waterfall! You’ll cross quite a few bridges and staircases while you’re hiking through the forest. 

Hopefully, it’s not raining when you go. We actually had so much rain on our hike and it got very slippery on the staircases and bridges since they’re all made of wood.

Regardless it was still an awesome experience. Rain or shine, we’re sure you’ll enjoy it. 

It will be quite obvious when you get to the final waterfall since there will be some signs. The trail does continue though. Make sure to turn back if you don’t want to continue further away from Karlova Studanka.

We’d say go for it if it was worth it but the final highlight of the hike is the Bila Opava Waterfall where we recommend turning back. It’s a 7 km hike so you get to see a lot on this stretch.

Because of the wether, we didn’t actually make it to the final waterfall so we hope one day we can go back and complete it…

It’s a nice 2-3 hour hike that splits up your day and still gives you lots of time to enjoy one of the spas in Karlova Studanka. 

Views from a local hike in Karlova Studanka in the Czech Republic.

Hiking back to Karlova Studanka 

The Bila Opava trail is an in-and-out trail so you’ll go back the same way you came in. The way back is slightly downhill but the majority of the trail is quite flat besides the few ladders and staircases you walk on.

You’ll make your way back through the forest where you’ll cross the few bridges that run over the Bila Opava River (read: “river”).

From there you’ll walk on the country road for a few minutes before you’re back to the first waterfall and the parking lot where the hike starts. 

It’s not a hard trail but it’s a nice and refreshing one to get out in nature and explore the area around Karlova Studanka. The combination of getting out for a hike before going to the spa is fantastic! 

What to bring on the Bila Opava trail

Jo admiring the view of the waterfall while hiking in Karlova Studanka.

This isn’t the most challenging hike so there’s not too much you need to plan…

We always bring our reusable water bottles with us on every hike (LifeStraw bottles).

A few snacks are also always a good idea to have whenever you hike for a few hours. This hike will take 2-3 hours so you can plan for bringing snacks that will last you that long.

If you end up forgetting food you can get some food at one of the restaurants in Karlova Studanka right next to the hike.

We usually throw everything we think we may need into our Osprey day hiking bags (which are fantastic btw). We bring everything from a tripod to a power bank to food and extra water.

It’s better to be over-prepared than under-prepared as we say. 

Packing list for Bila Opava:

  • ​​Water! We always fill up our LifeStraw bottles before hikes and even during them when we can. You can actually fill up your water bottle at the famous fountain in Karlova Studanka (which you can find here). 
  • A power bank is always nice to have on any hike you do! You don’t want a dead phone halfway through a hike or when you have to navigate back to Karlova Studanka.
  • You can also bring some lunch to eat during the hike and maybe next to one of the waterfalls. It’s a great place to relax and take in the cleanest air in central Europe.
  • If you have hiking poles, it’s not a bad idea to bring them. They aren’t necessary but they’re good support for your knees and in case it’s slippery.

How to get to Karlova Studanka

Karlova Studanka on a map of the Czech Republic

If you’re visiting Karlova Studanka as a weekend trip from Prague, Ostrava, or Brno it’s probably best to go by car. You can do it by public transport and it will be quite the journey but it is completely doable. All we can say is that taking a car is the easier and faster option.

Rent a car in Prague

From Prague, renting a car is by far the best option (unless you have one already). You’ll get to Karlova Studanka much easier and faster and you don’t have to worry about connecting to other trains and buses. 

The best place in Prague to rent a car is the airport. It’s usually the cheaper option and if you rent a car at the airport you also avoid driving through the city center of Prague. To say driving in Prague is chaotic would be an understatement.

Picture of a car rental from Prague Airport in the Czech Republic.

Public transport to Karlova Studanka

You can take public transport from Prague but it will take you around 5 hours to get to Karlova Studanka where the Bila Opava hike starts. You can see the timetables and different options here.

It’s a little bit easier if you want to take public transport from Ostrava since it’s a lot closer than Prague. Here are the different ways to get from Ostrava to Karlova Studanka by public transport. 

Before you hike Bila Opava

Check the weather

Even though Karlova Studanka has the cleanest air in central Europe it doesn’t mean that you can’t get some ugly weather at times.

It’s best to check the weather in advance for Bila Opava to make sure it’s nice to go out. 

There are a few staircases and slippery sections along the trail when it does rain so that’s one thing to watch out for. 

But if it is raining or ugly out, you can always enjoy a nice spa instead. Then you can go out when the weather clears out.

Wear hiking shoes

Walking among the trees, on dirt trails, and with roots everywhere, proper hiking shoes are the way to go. It’s nice wearing proper shoes for the outdoors that feels good out on these trails.

Like most hikes in the Czech Republic we’ve done the trails can get muddy, rocky, and just not nice for regular shoes so hikers are where it’s at.

Best time to hike the Bila Opava Trail

Since this trail isn’t too challenging and the weather doesn’t play that big of a factor you can technically come and hike Bila Opava any time of the year. 

During the spring you’ll have fewer people but the trees might not be in full bloom yet depending on when in spring you go. But you’ll have the fresh smell of nature and some peace and quiet (which you can almost always expect when hiking around here).

Summer and fall are busier but they’re also the most beautiful seasons to come here. You’ll be able to enjoy the flowing creek and waterfalls along the Bila Opava Trail. 

Then in winter if you’re lucky you may get some snow in the forest and maybe even a frozen creek (that doesn’t happen too often though).

There won’t be many people hiking Bila Opava in the winter so the trail will be relatively quiet. The trail can also get a little slippery with frost and ice on some of the bridges and staircases as well. So if you go in winter, make sure you have proper shoes and maybe bring your hiking poles.

The best thing you can do no matter what season you come is to try and get the hike done early in the morning before the crowds come out. In the mornings you may see a few locals walking their dogs or mushroom hunting but you won’t see the big groups that sometimes come later in the day. 

It’s such a beautiful area that lots of Czech locals and Polish people come and explore this area all the time!

Where to stay near Karlova Studanka

Roughly a 5-7 minute drive from the hike you’ll find a beautiful area called Malá Morávka with ski slopes, rolling hills, and complete greenery. That’s where you can find Koprivna Resort which is where we stayed.

It’s this beautiful little resort on the side of a hill with a ton of awesome amenities. You’ll find a pool and a spa area in the back. A restaurant downstairs and plenty of activities to do outside. 

It’s a great place to relax and hang out but also a place where you can hike even more if Bila Hora wasn’t enough for you. 

We stayed at the Koprivna Resort for one night and it was perfect. We came back from the Bila Hora hike and went for dinner at the restaurants inside. Then for the rest of the evening, we enjoyed the spa connected to the hotel.

You can also browse other hotels in Karlova Studanka on booking.com below 👇🏼

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Recap of the Bila Opava hike in Karlova Studanka

That’s it for this hike along the Bila Opava River to the waterfalls. It’s a really nice little morning or afternoon activity to do if you’re in the area. Especially if you go to the spa before or after this hike it will be perfect.

It’s our first time exploring this part of the Czech Republic and we absolutely loved it. It really is a great weekend trip from Prague or a day trip from Ostrava.

Enjoy this beautiful hike! If you have questions on how to get there then you DM us on Instagram @redwhiteadventures or leave a comment below and we’ll get back to you. 

Enjoy the view, the hike, and the clean air. Also, make sure to try some of the fresh water and one of the spas in Karlova Studanka!

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